June 15, 2005

Lynn Loop Trail & Rice Lake Loop, by Magalie

Every summer, David's work organises hikes for its employees and their friends after work. With nice weather and long days blessing us, their hiking season has started. They usually do pretty good hikes, so I was quite happy to learn that.

For their first hike it was decided at the very last minute that we would do a hike in Lynn Valley which is located in North Vancouver. We all met at the Lynn Canyon Park parking lot at around 6pm and started out on hour hike. (Park map)

That is, we all crossed the beautiful suspension bridge right off the lot which leads you to the trailhead. The bridge is the second suspension bridge in the region (the other being the Capilano suspension bridge) and while it is smaller and surely closer to the ground, it is free and less crowded. Capilano charges $25 for the thrill!!!

facing fear

Once over the bridge, no one could decide if we should take the trail to the left, or to the right. Eventually, we chose the left side which follows the river and got walking. After an easy 15 minutes stroll, we arrived at the "30 foot pool", which is filled with beautiful clear water and with easy water access. A lovely spot to easy summer heat I am certain! (Although, please see note at bottom of post).

30 foot pool

From here, the trail becomes a long staircase: this is the most challenging part of the trail, and by challenging, I mean that it was the only place where I broke a sweat. After the first set, there is a short second staircase and thereafter it is all flat terrain. Keep following the trail, and follow signs for Rice Lake Loop. Eventually you will reach the peaceful mirror-like lake and the fishing dock. If the place is not too busy with fishermen, this could be a very nice stop for a snack.

rice lake

After a nice stop, return to the trailhead and head left to complete the loop. There are not many viewpoints of the lake but the few that occur are very beautiful. And this trail was very quiet!

Once the loop is completed, make your way back to the trail which brought you here. This time, instead of taking the stairs and seeing the pool again, do the trail the other way. The downhill trail is gentle and will complete the loop by taking you back to the bridge.

Overall I found this hike to be extremely easy. In fact, I would call this a walk, and not a hike. This walk would be a great idea in the winter time or when you just want to be in the forest, without effort. The walk is easy, smooth, and did not take us much more than an hour. If doing this hike with people with limited mobility or energy, skip the stairs and start the trail on the right-side after the bridge.

* Downside: Too easy! Too short!
* Upside: Quiet, beautiful river, beautiful lake, cool bridge. And easy!

Note: The river in Lynn Park has caused the death and injury of many. Before the bridge, there is a very detailed panel advising hikers to not dive or swim in the river which explains how currents can trap you in numerous ways. Although they do not have any signs advising people to not enter the 30 Foot Pool, they do have an image of what could be that pool on the panel. Here is what it illustrates, so enter at your own risk (and yes, those are dead bodies):

nice and cheerful!


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